2424 Wisconsin Ave, Downers Grove, IL 60515 3535 S State St, Lockport, IL 60441 2755 Division St, Melrose Park, IL 60160 424 W Main Street, Gardner, IL 60424

The Four Different Types of Tow Trucks

The Four Variations of Tow Trucks

Depending on your current standing, emergency towing could be a lifesaver to you, a necessary service, or could be a word that you probably don’t want to hear for a while. Whatever the case may be, it would still be prudent for you to understand what towing is and the types of trucks used.

As a premier company specializing in towing in Bolingbrook, we believe we must sow understanding with the general public, the customer whom we have been serving diligently since 1963, and who may need our services at one point or another. We’ll start by explaining our services and how we achieve them.

For that, you first need to understand the different types of tow trucks and their uses. Let’s begin.

Hook and Chain Tow Truck

This tow truck was the first type of tow truck to come into existence, making it the oldest sort. Aside from being able to tow a vehicle, it can also be used to haul a variety of wheeled cargo, thereby making these types of tow trucks multi-purpose.

This type of towing uses a chain, or a strap or cable, with hooks at both ends. These hooks will be attached to both the vehicle to be towed and the towing vehicle. This method can cause scratching or even damage the bumpers of towed cars. It is a reason why it is rarely used today.

That is the simplest method. Another method uses a boom on the back of the towing vehicle. A chain is run through a pulley system and then attached to the car. This pulley system will then lift the wheels of the towed vehicle off the ground.

Usually, it is the driven vehicles that are lifted off the ground. What this means is if your car is front-wheel drive, it is the front wheels that will be lifted off the ground. This lifting prevents any damage from occurring to the drive shaft of the vehicle.

If you drive a vehicle that uses an all-wheel drive or a permanent 4×4 system, don’t allow your car to be towed using this method. This towing method could cause significant damage to the drivetrain, and it may end up costing thousands of dollars to fix.

Flatbed Towing

Whereas the first method is pragmatic, this method is more specialized towards the towing of vehicles. This method is now the most common method of hauling in the United States.

The vehicles involved are known as flatbeds. They’re called this because instead of a traditional truck carrier at the back, they have a flatbed that can be raised or lowered to ground level using hydraulics.

When it comes to towing, there are a variety of methods to tow vehicles. The first involves the tow truck being parked in front of the vehicle to be towed. The truck then lowers its bed to ground level. Lowering the bed allows the car to drive onto the back of the truck. These flatbeds come equipped with winches rather than using power. These winches will then pull the towed vehicle onto the flatbed.

The second involves a flatbed that equipped with a crane. The addition of the crane is essential for use in cities with cramped spaces. The tow truck could simply pull up alongside the vehicle to be towed.

Cables or chains will then be run under the vehicle to be towed and then secured to the crane. The crane must be positioned in such a way as the car will balance when it is lifted off the ground. The vehicle is then placed gently on the flatbed and driven away.

This type of towing is necessary with today’s car drivetrain systems. Vehicle owners prefer this type of towing as it is quick, and causes no damage to the towed vehicle.

The flatbeds with cranes are also utilitarian as various packages could simply be lifted and placed on the back of the trucks.

Wheel-Lift Tow Trucks

These are the specialized types of tow trucks. They are a welcome evolution of the hook and chain vehicles and are rather handy at what they can do.

Even though they are an evolution of hook and chain trucks, the only thing in common between the use of a boom to lift the car off the ground, these operate by using a hydraulic or pneumatic yoke.

These yokes will be placed on the ground, and the towed vehicle is driven or placed over them. The wheels are meant to go right over the yoke. This yoke will then be lifted off the ground hydraulically, or pneumatically. Depending on the type of vehicle you have, it is the driven wheels that will go over the yoke. All-wheel drive and permanent four-wheel-drive systems can still not use this type of towing.

Integrated Trucks

These types of tow trucks are more practical. As the name suggests, they combine two or more types of towing mechanisms for the recovery of vehicles. They are more often used in the recovery of heavier vehicles, such as buses and trucks, or to two heavy trailers. This because these towing mechanisms are built right into the chassis of the car, making them more stable. They may also have extra axles allowing them to haul more cargo.

These typically combine a boom or a crane with wheel lift capability. This build offers utility for quick or emergency jobs. The controls of the towing mechanisms are even inside the towing vehicle’s cabin, therefore allowing for immediate operations. These are what we use for emergency towing in Bolingbrook.

A Bolingbrook Tow Truck You Can Count On

The task at hand will usually determine what kind of truck we will use to make our services to you as smooth and as painless as possible. Since 1963, we have always strived to provide the best services to people in the cities we serve. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call us in case you ever need our services.

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